Some thoughts on MySQL and Oracle
Posted Dec 17, 2009 14:03 UTC (Thu) by hingo
Parent article: Some thoughts on MySQL and Oracle
I work for Monty and have been heavily involved with the EU process since August.
Jonathan, I just wanted to say, having followed various pundits for months now, making all kinds of bizarre claims, I was glad to see that at least LWN is still my island of sanity. This is why I subscribe to these news. Thank you. (And it's not like the article is pro or against anything, I'm just glad to see there are still people who understand how GPL and some open source business models work.)
We, at Monty Program, have not made much efforts to correct the many things that have been said about this, since that would have been an effort to drink the ocean. But since this article is more or less perfect, let me comment on the one thing that I can give more details on:
About "have the cake and eat it too": We always consistently said that divesting the MySQL business to a 3rd party was the desirable outcome. This way MySQL could continue with its old business models. Monty has no interest and certainly not enough money to be a buyer, it would of course had had to be one of the big players of the open source world. In short, there was no benefit to ourselves in this scenario, which was the primary alternative.
Expecting that the Commission indeed would be strong armed by Oracle into some kind of compromise, we also explained that it would still be helpful then if MySQL was available under a license that gives MySQL users (in particular the proprietary SW vendors) a choice other than Oracle. Like you say, neither the proprietary applications or even GPLv3 software is today compatible with MySQL GPLv2 or a fork of that (like MariaDB). Stallman, Greg Stein and some others understood this too, surprisingly many (including lawyers and your favorite paralegal) quite didn't, so the debate has been... "interesting".
Whatever you may think of the above, Monty Program itself is committed to producing open source software, so our objective definitively was not to start doing proprietary software out of MySQL. (And if MySQL ceased to be GPL licensed, nobody could really do dual licensing anyway.)
PS: Exercise to the reader: Which prominent kernel hacker contributed to the paper co-signed by Stallman? A little web research should reveal it.
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